Prominent New Zealand trainer John Wheeler has no plans of retirement for his staying mare My Diamantine who is one of the main fancies in the Listed $150,000 Queensland Cup (3200m) at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
Wheeler shares in the ownership of My Diamantine and left the six year old mare under the care of Eagle Farm trainer and expatriate Kiwi Brian Smith following a Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign in 2016.
My Diamantine is overdue for a win and Wheeler said that he is happy for her to race on after Saturday’s staying test over the two miles.
“My Diamantine has been very unlucky in a few of her races over there but I’m not planning to send her to stud yet,” Wheeler told Racing Queensland News.
“When I sent her to Brisbane last year I thought if she didn’t measure up she might go to Melbourne as a jumper as she did a lot of schooling over the jumps early in her career.”
My Diamantine was well beaten three starts back when ninth to Chocante in the Group 2 $300,000 Evergreen Turf Brisbane Cup (2200m) at Doomben on June 10 but then showed improvement when only a length from the winner, Rudy, when fourth in the Group 3 $200,000 Carlton Mid Tattersall’s Cup (2200m) at Doomben on June 24.
Wheeler said that he was happy with the effort of My Diamantine last start when second to Supply And Demand in the Listed $175,000 The Pump House Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast on July 1.
“I’ve never won a Brisbane Cup and I’ve never had a runner in the Queensland Cup before this,” Wheeler said.
“The Queensland Cup used to be run at a different time of the year when I used to travel over for the winter.”
“She’s been real unlucky and should have won a few more races over there.”
“She was three wide when she ran ninth in the Brisbane Cup then she had a perfect run in the Tatt’s Cup but couldn’t get out when she finished fourth.
“Her run in the Caloundra Cup last start was also good. She got home strongly and was taking ground of the winner when she finished second to Supply And Demand.”
My Diamantine was out of luck at the Queensland Cup barrier draw and will jump from the outside gate in the sixteen horse field with Brisbane’s leading jockey Jeff Lloyd in the saddle.
My Diamantine is on the second line of betting at $4.60 for the Queensland Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au sandwiched in between the Chris Waller trained pair Richard Of Yorke at $4 and Soviet Courage at $5.50.